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Hennie the Hometown Hero

Otto wins South African Open title

Posted Nov 29, 2011 by Chris White

Hennie Otto won the South African Open

35-year old Hennie Otto survived a nail-biting final few holes to win his home event at the South African Open at the Serengeti Golf Club, finishing on 14-under par, one stroke clear of the chasing pack.

A final round 72 saw Otto finish ahead of Austrian Bernd Wiesberger, and two shots clear of Richard McEvoy, and compatriots Thomas Aiken and Ockie Strydom, who finished on 11-under par and tied for third. Wiesberger and McEvoy both shot impressive final rounds of 68, but it was Otto who held his nerve to take the victory.

Leading by three shots overnight, Otto needed a good start to stamp his mark on the leaderboard, and he got just that. With six holes left to play, he was still three shots clear of the chasing pack, but bogeys on 13, 15 and 16 saw him throw that lead away, leaving everything to play for on the final two holes. A birdie on 17 put him back out on his own, and a par at the last ensured a second European Tour title, three years after winning at the Italian Open.

The win, the sixth for a South African at the event, moves Otto up to 56th on the money list, and guarantees him a place at the season-ending Dubai World Championship. He follows Ernie Els, Aiken, Louis Oosthuizen, Garth Mulroy and Charl Schwartzel to win his home event, something he was very proud of upon interview. “There are some great names on that trophy,” he said, “and I said it would be great if I could add mine, today’s the day!”

The field was lightened by the absence of Oosthuizen and Schwartzel, who were representing South Africa at the World Cup in China, finishing 12th overall on 17-under par.

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